Roger Harris, Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health, presented the report on behalf of the Orsett Hospital Task and Finish Group that captured the key points of the group and summarised the functions that the group had undertaken.
At 8.11pm, Councillor Massey arrived into the committee room.
The chair thanked officers for the report and stated the reason the group had been set up was the potential changes of services and the decision to close Orsett Hospital. The group had questioned NHS partners, looked at logistics of the site and undertaken site visits so that this information could be used by members to reassure residents about the decision process. The chair stated that the group had achieved a lot and proposed that this item now be incorporated back into the scrutiny of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee and recommended that a report to be presented at every other committee.
Kristina Jackson, Healthwatch representative, agreed that communication had been a big issue with residents as there was some uncertainty on the plans for Orsett Hospital and the Integrated Medical Centres and there had been some confusion on Primary Care Networks.
Kristina Jackson questioned why the Musculoskeletal and Physiotherapy Services currently at Orsett Hospital would be moving from that site as of the 1 April 2020 when residents had been assured that no services would be moved until all the four integrated medical centres were open. The chair thanked Kristina Jackson for this very interesting news. Mandy Ansell would clarify whether this was a Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust service and would feedback but stated new Musculoskeletal services had been commissioned and was aware that these services was available in all Thurrock hubs. Mandy Ansell stated that Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group offered the best musculoskeletal service when compared to other Clinical Commissioning Groups. Kristina Jackson thanked officers for the response and would appreciate a response on what services were moving and when so that residents could be kept informed.
Kristina Jackson also questioned why the People’s Panel which had been set up September 2018 following a recommendation from Thurrock Healthwatch to provide an independent view on matters relating to the relocation of services from Orsett Hospital were not receiving any notice of decisions before they were being made. The chair stated that these concerns would be addressed and be reported back to the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
1. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) core principle that was agreed back in 2017, by all parties, is reconfirmed – i.e. that all clinical services based at Orsett Hospital serving Thurrock residents should remain within Thurrock and be based in more local, community based settings.
2. All agencies need to accelerate the programme around the Integrated Medical Centres (IMCs) with a target to have all fully open by the end of 2023.
3. There has been insufficient communication with the wider community about the post Orsett Hospital Plans. The T&FG would like to see a joint NHS / LA communications and engagement strategy agreed within 3 months.
4. The transport and parking strategy around the IMCs is not sufficiently well developed. Coordination around bus routes, provision of adequate car-parking on all four IMC sites and the role of community transport is inadequate and we would like to see a full strategy developed within 6 months.
5. The T&FG would like to see a fully worked up de-commissioning plan for Orsett Hospital developed before the end of this calendar year. Orsett Hospital continues to provide valuable services for the people of Thurrock and will do so for years to come. For both patients and the staff that serve the hospital a clearly mapped out plan to ensure the hospital is functioning effectively during this period and people can see where their services are going to be re-provided is essential.
6. The T&FG understands that the financing of the IMC programme is still under discussion. We would like this matter resolved urgently and greater clarity over how the whole programme will be funded as we see it as a vital part of supporting our wider ambitions over regeneration and supporting health and care expansion in Thurrock – especially with our growing population.